Justin Timberlake Had To Be In 'Popstar', According To The Lonely Island
Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, and Akiva Schaffer have a ton of famous friends, which certainly came in handy when creating their new film Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. The movie is full of cameos by A-listers, with everyone from A$AP Rocky to Ringo Starr making a brief appearance. One of the most hilarious cameos in Popstar is (spoiler!) that of Justin Timberlake, who plays the personal chef to Samberg's character, and while the cameo might come as a surprise to viewers, the Lonely Island tells Bustle that they thought people would be shocked if JT didn't make an appearance.
"We had him over a barrel because he knew that if he wasn’t in the movie, people would be like “where was he?” explains Schaffer. Adds Taccone, "So he was like, 'Gotta show up.'"
Samberg, though, says Timberlake's reaction to getting a call from the Lonely Island asking him to be in their movie wasn't quite that serious. "I would say his attitude was a little more chipper than that," the comedian says.
It's well-known that Timberlake has been friendly with the Lonely Island ever since he appeared with Samberg in "D*ck In A Box" while they were all working at Saturday Night Live, so it makes sense that the singer would be ready and willing to participate in a Lonely Island movie. But Samberg, Taccone, and Schaffer reveal that they weren't as sure if some of the other celebrities that they wanted to be in the movie would be as eager to appear, such as Seal, who appears as himself in a hilarious — and graphic — scene.
"We didn’t know ahead of time how game he’d be or not, [but] Seal was delightful," Schaffer says. "He just showed up and was just a delight to have around." Considering that, in Seal's scene, the singer is (spoiler!) savagely attacked by wolves, his willingness to be involved makes him seem like quite the trooper.
The Lonely Island adds that they were also very impressed by some of the music stars who appeared in the film to give staged Behind The Music-style interviews about the film's main character, Conner. When asked about their favorite cameos, the three men immediately mention Nas as a standout. Says Schaffer, "We grew up listening to Nas, and he’s one of the most respected MCs of all time, so we had no idea what to expect. In fact, we were really surprised when he said yes, but in hindsight it’s not surprising because he was very good. He must know he’s very good at acting and good at delivering lines and that’s why he said yes, because doing it, we were like, 'Oh, someone should cast him in a movie.' Like, he’s great."
Samberg rattles off the names of some other favorite cameos. "ASAP Rocky, Ringo Starr, Mariah Carey, RZA, Pharrell, a lot of really awesome folks," he says. Taccone agrees, saying, "Yeah, he’s mentioning all people that were great. We were generally surprised, like RZA is incredible, was so funny."
The biggest celebs to appear in the movie, though, aren't any of the people mentioned above — or people at all. Samberg reveals that the wolves involved in the Seal scene are the same ones that are seen on Game of Thrones, and as fans of the HBO series, the group freaked out about getting to work with the famous animals.
"We nerded out over that," says Taccone. Adds Samberg, "The same wolf actors. Wactors....They make a lot per day but they’re worth it. But they were super scary also. The whole thing felt like the first act of a Jurassic Park movie, where you know something is about to go horribly wrong, and you’re just waiting for it."
Thankfully, nothing did go wrong, and the A-list cast (and animals) made it out alive and well. The resulting scene is absolutely hilarious, as is the rest of the film, which rolls into theaters on June 3.